Nashville No Like Lesbians? Country Singer Chely Wright Selling Half as Many Albums
Photo by Laura Crosta
Soon after country singer Chely Wright came out of the closet last summer, she told us in an interview, "It's a remarkable experience, and I'm so thankful. It's gone beautifully. I feel so good about it."
This may not come as a complete shock to Wright, considering the somewhat chilly reception she received from much of the country music community upon coming out. We asked about Nashville's reaction when we spoke with her back in August, and she told us some have been supportive, but others were quite the opposite:
There are some holdouts. I was berated on a live Birmingham morning show where the guy said live on the radio, 'Why do people like you want to forward your agenda? Why do you want us to say it's ok? Why can't you just shut up and sing?' You know, these things still happen.
She told us that Mary Chapin Carpenter, whom Wright does not know well, tweeted "Chely Wright should be applauded for her courage," but that few other people in the music industry supported her publicly:
Trisha Yearwood and I are very good friends. Of course she emailed me immediately and supported me - she came out and did my charity event in June. But no one's willing, other than Chapin, to address the fact that I came out, and applaud me. No one will say it. No one will say, 'Good for Chely Wright for coming out of the closet.' They will email me and say, 'Good for you, girl. I'm proud of you. I love you.' But no one will say it.
We asked her if she felt she may be pushed out of the country music genre because of her sexuality, to which she replied:
Sure. They're not that excited that I came out in Nashville. It's a head-scratcher. My industry is - again, I've received so many private emails and phone calls and texts, but as a collective community, they don't know how to endorse this. I'm guessing I'm not the only gay artist that's ever sung a country song. If I were a betting woman.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.